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Paddy Skicko

He’s been slingin’ gourmet hot dogs and good times across the Gold Coast for the last five years and Paddy Skicko, owner of The Wiener Haus, has no plans to slow down just yet.

He travels with The Wiener Haus, one of the Coast’s original food trucks, from Brisbane to Byron Bay catering at huge events like Splendour in the Grass and, just last year, opened a diner (made from a shipping container) at Stockland Burleigh Heads.

We sat down for a chat with Paddy about watching bride’s smash hotdogs in wedding dresses and what it’s like to spend your days elbow deep in wieners.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been on the Coast now for just over 10 years. I’m from country Victoria but I spent a lot of time traveling when I was younger. I did back and forth Europe winters for a few years then moved here after a boy’s roadtrip. We had an epic time and I knew I wasn’t going to go back to Europe for awhile so I thought I’d come here and give it a go.

What do you love about living here?
The lifestyle is just so good; we’re so lucky with this end of the Coast. I live in Nobby’s and love being able to go to Burleigh or ride a bike along the Esplanade. Every morning you can go to the beach and nine times out of ten it’s beautiful. I love the fact that I can nip out to the Scenic Rim and go camping too; it’s only half an hour away and reminds me of home.

Tell us how The Wiener Haus came about?
I started having the conversation about five years ago now; with a guy called Jessie I was friends with at the time. I wanted to get out of working as a labourer and I knew I had the skillset to get it done so we decided to go for it. We worked hard and after about six months, Jessie and myself parted ways and Zac came on board to help me with the side of things I’m not good at, like paperwork and invoicing. From there we started getting stadium gigs, then had the second marquee setup happening and now we have the shop, which I always wanted.

Why gourmet hot dogs?
I was originally going to do a café and I was very close to pulling the trigger on a toasted sandwich shop, because I love toasted sandwiches. I honestly just do things I enjoy and I really like hot dogs. Especially our new one, the Caesar, it’s a good combo, I think it’s the best one I’ve ever made.

Why did you decide to open the diner last year?
I wanted to try and make money seven days a week and I wanted to try and work less, in theory. That hasn’t happened at all, I work way more. I’ve worked in hospitality my whole life on and off and as much as I love working around the busy times, it’s hard to maintain a lifestyle that includes other people who don’t do that. The idea was to try and get some sort of normality in my life while still working in hospo. I wanted to have the opportunity to work every day but not have to always work Friday and Saturday night because I was sick of missing out on stuff. That was the plan and it has happened in some ways. Obviously we wanted to get bigger and keep making money but not always have to be on the grill.

What have been some of the best things about owning a food truck?
I’ve done some huge events. We did the Coldplay gig and the Manny Pacquiao fight, that was huge, game three of State of Origin, we did Splendour in the Grass, which was such a good time. Splendour has been a huge thing for us being the only Gold Coast food truck that goes down there and gets amongst it is really cool and we’re really proud of that. Lately we’ve been doing some cool events like the Beer InCider Festival in Brisbane and we’re doing the Crafted Beer and Cider Festival this weekend. We’ve done some rad bar openings where we rolled up and took the Barbie up on the elevator to cook on the rooftop too. 

How has your life changed since the WH first began?
My phone rings at any time of the day, any day of the week, that’s been something I’m not that keen on. I do get half days off occasionally and my one day off a week but I think that’s just the way it is as a small business owner.

What are your thoughts on the Coast’s rapidly growing dining scene?
I love that there’s competition and I think it’s important that everyone has the right to have a go. I always try and eat at the small business venues if I can because there’s so many. That’s the problem too though, there’s just so many. The food truck game has gone from just The Wiener Haus and one other, nearly five years ago to now there being well over 100.

What’s the plan for you and The Wiener Haus over the next year?
We’re in an interesting position at the moment and we’re just trying to work it all out. We’ve got plenty of opportunities but I don’t know exactly what we’ll do yet. We obviously want to keep on making epic hotdogs, that’s the most important thing. We’re looking at new menu items but also focusing pretty hard on providing a good catering service, that’s our main thing. The shop is great, I don’t know if we’ll get another one but I do like the idea of more of a bar style hot dog shop but at the same time, I enjoy doing catering so I’d like to push harder in that direction. It’s hilarious to see a bride smash a hotdog in her wedding dress.   

Favourites on the Coast:
Beach: Tallebudgera Creek, especially up the creek further on the other side of the bridge. I go kayaking up there and I’m lucky to see anyone, it’s so good.
Café: I go to All Time a lot, really good coffee and Nook is good too.
Restaurant: Goccia in Mermaid is proper Italian food, I’m a big fan.
How does your time off usually look: I’ve got two different time off things that I do and I try and rotate weekly. Definitely getting outdoors is a huge thing for me, I try and go camping at least once a fortnight just to camp and drink beers by a fire. The other thing is Netflix and chill and getting Uber Eats. I think it’s so important to turn off your phone and have that time away.

Stockland Burleigh Heads

20 reasons locals love Burleigh Heads

Oh Burleigh you little beauty, what’s not to love right? Since the dawn of time (or the dawn of the GC at least) Burleigh has been one of the most-loved suburbs amongst a slew of strong contenders.

Sure, the beach is beautiful and James Street boasts all the best eats and acai bowls galore but it’s more than that, Burleigh has a soul of its own born of cruisy, barefoot, salty seabreeze vibes you simply won’t find anywhere else.

Gushing aside, here are 20 solid reasons why the locals love it and you should too (or else). And yes, we understand there are many more, hold your horses for list 2.0.

Restaurant Labart
The fine dining venue is only a couple of years old, but in that time has become one of the Gold Coast’s premier dining destinations. Tucked away on West Street, the five-star, seasonal produce-led restaurant is an absolute must-visit and your dining experience there is one you won’t long forget. The produce is sustainable and the wine list is filled with some of the most stunning natural wines in the world. The service is impeccable too, but in a fun, not-too-formal way. We LOVE.
Where: 2A/8 West Street, Burleigh Heads 

Rosella’s 
It’s the good time, slightly fancy Australiana bar of your dreams and it is perfectly at home in Burleigh Heads. Rosella’s very quickly became a firm local favourite when it opened last year and with both a drinks and food menu made up entirely of Australian produce, we are in love. There are cocktails made with Nutri Grain, some of the tastiest toasties around and all the very best Aussie beers. It’s refined, beautifully decked out and created by a couple of absolute legends. Love.
Where: 6/1734 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Mr Hizola’s
Yum, contemporary Cantonese food, we love you. Mr Hizola’s is dishing up the goods in the form of tasty share-style dishes and we are here for it. Particularly the sizzling steak dish that is all kinds of delicious and an array of epic cocktails to match. Mr Hizola’s is by the gang who brought you Hideaway Kitchen and Bar, Nightjar (see below), Bine, Soho Place and Nightcap, so it’s fair to say they know what’s up.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Hill
Well hasn’t this simple little piece of Mother Nature become a local legend. No matter the day of the week (but particularly Sunday arvos) “the hill” as it’s affectionately known is packed with picnic rugs, ball games and groups of revelers basking in the sunshine. Looking out over the ocean and with the city in the distance, it’s the perfect spot for a late afternoon lemonade or early morning coffee date with the crew. If you’re feeling energetic, take a stroll around the hill to Talle Creek for some Insta-worthy scenery.
Where: The south end of The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads

Nightjar
It’s the good old-fashioned party bar Burleigh has welcomed with open arms and there’s absolutely no doubt that all the best things go down behind Nightjar’s spray painted roller door. Inspired by wanderluster Sailor Jerry and with very few rules, the back alley bar is home to epic live jams, crazy cocktails and guaranteed good times.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads 

Iku Yakitori Bar
Yakitori translates to chicken on a stick, simple enough to describe, but much more intricate in nature. As for Iku, ask the crew when you stop in. Also found in Burleigh’s bustling back alley, Iku is even better than you’d imagine it to be. Skewers are the name of the game and no part of the chicken is left behind. There’s also veggo ones and some ridiculous edamame dip and plenty of tasty cocktails too.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads 

Jimmy Wahs
The stunning space offers incredible Vietnamese dishes inspired by Head Chef Jakes’ trip through Vietnam and a desire to eat some of the very best street food in the world every single day. Same. It’s a refined style of dining paired with mouthwatering cocktails and a sleek, paired back vibe. Jimmy Wahs is one of the Gold Coast’s most impressive eateries and we are big fans.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Sean Scott Boutique
Gold Coast local Sean Scott is a world-renowned surf and nature photographer and his gallery on James Street is filled with his stunning images and the coolest of clothing and accessories. The gallery has been open for five years and is the perfect spot to stop in for some creative inspo or grab yourself a piece of Sean’s incredible art. Read our interview with the man himself here.
Where: 21 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Rick Shores
Literally opening out onto the sand at Burleigh beach, Rick Shores is loved (not only locally) for its stunning sunset views and those tiny little taste sensations otherwise known as Bug Rolls. If you’ve never tasted one, you’ve been wasting your life, make a booking RIGHT NOW and order them all. Wash them down with one of Rick’s signature cocktails and you’re a bonafide Burleigh-ite.
Where: Shop 3, Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Bowls Club
A relaxing little beachside club loved by young and old alike, Burleigh Bowls has been around since 1937 and is certainly a prime piece of real estate these days. Barefoot Bowls roll on from 12 to 5pm every Sunday and it’s a measly $5 per person including coaching and bowls (AKA ball whipper snappers). Live music can be heard on Sunday arvos from 2 to 6pm. Get down and support your local while sipping on a schooner.
Where: Connor Street, Burleigh Heads

The Village Markets
Our beloved boutique fashion and lifestyle market, The Village Markets, is home to hundreds of local makers and has helped to launch the international careers of countless creatives. Head down for an early morning coffee and breakfast while wandering through the stalls until it’s time for lunch. Oh and there’s always live music if you need a breather. It’s the best way to spend a sunny Sunday
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Baker
The baked goods that come out of this friendly little bakery are honestly something else. Owners Geoff and Lisa are passionate about baking and opened Burleigh Baker to provide us with the best tasting and most nutritious Artisan Sourdough and boy do they deliver. They use only the finest ingredients and the traditional process of fermentation. Do not buy bread anywhere else. You’re welcome.
Where: 13/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Freedom Float Centre
Floating in an enclosed tank of water may not seem like the most freedom-inducing activity in the world but trust us, it is. It’s the perfect place to experience the deepest of relaxation for the mind and body and literally involves floating weightlessly in a concentrated salt solution in a specially designed lightproof and soundproof pod. You’ll be shut off from the entire world. Sign us up!
Where: 105 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads

Justin Lane Rooftop
Don your finest frock and rally up your girlfriends for a Sunday session and a spot of people watching on the roof at Justin Lane. With cocktails in hand and a balmy breeze blowing in through the windows, you need never go anywhere else again. After a few hours, pop downstairs for one of Justin’s famous pizzas and that’s your Sunday sorted.
Where: 1708 – 1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Pavilion
Absolute beachfront views and balmy ocean breezes aside, Burleigh Pavilion is a real treat. The interior is all pastel hues with greenery dotted throughout, two distinct sides including a sit down restaurant (The Tropic) and a more casual beach bar-style situation (The Terrace) for the best of both worlds. There are tasty eats on both sides and many a refreshing cocktail. Not to mention their new baked goods-filled van. Get involved in all of that.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Pavilion (image supplied)
Burleigh Pavilion (image supplied)

Ze Pickle
The OG of giant, gourmet burgers, Ze Pickle’s Burleigh Heads store is all the best burgery things. Opened by friends Joey, Nathan and Aaron in 2012, the concept has spread around Australia and is now loved nationwide. Paired by your favourite local craft beer or a tipple of primo tequila and you’ve got yourself a good time.
Where: Corner Park Avenue and Connor Street, Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Farmers Markets
Everyone’s favourite Saturday morning market adventure. Get up early, grab your basket and set out in search of fruit, veggies and of course, your first coffee of the weekend. These days the farmers market also boast locally made clothing and homewares, flowers, meat and seafood and delicious breaky and lunch options. There’s also live music and plenty of laughter floating around. Happy days.
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

David Fleays Wildlife Park
Nestled in the heart of Burleigh Heads, David Fleay’s is a wildlife park with a difference. Stroll through the tranquil surroundings to experience some of Queensland’s most iconic natural habitats and meet the resident wildlife — all in just one day. Explore the park solo or join the dedicated Park Rangers at the daily wildlife shows.
Where: Corner of West Burleigh Road and Loman Lane in West Burleigh

Burleigh Brewing Co.
If there’s one thing Burleigh deserves (the big legend), it’s a brewery and Burleigh Brewing Co. certainly delivers. After opening in 2006, Burleigh Brewing Co. has produced nine delicious drops with delightful names such as ‘My Wife’s Bitter’ and ‘FIGJAM’ – perfectly Burleigh. Get a sixer for Netflix and chill or head into the brewery from Wednesday to Sunday afternoons to get amongst it. There’s live tunes too, what a combination.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads

Lockwood Bar
A somewhat hidden little speakeasy in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Lockwood Bar specialise in all of the very best varieties of whiskey along with many a local tipple transformed into tasty cocktails. It’s a laidback, jazz bar kind of vibe, low lit, often with live music and once you’re inside, you likely won’t want to leave. We dig it.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads

Words by Kirra Smith

Seadog Burleigh

Well Gold Coasters, we have officially seen everything. Just a few days ago Burleigh Heads became home to a new coffee joint but it is not your average caffeine slinging space, no sir.

It is in fact a literal hole in the wall where an ATM once doled out your daily cash needs, a barista will now dole out your daily caffeine needs. How fun.

That barista is Brodie Green, also the owner of Seadog Burleigh, and the mastermind behind the idea to turn a recently removed ATM into a takeaway coffee shop.

Found next door to J St Barbers, Seadog rolled up their doors just last week and have already cemented themselves as firm favourites in the Burleigh coffee scene.

The reason for such immediate popularity is three-fold. First, Seadog uses organic coffee from Peru (Org) and it is quite the smooth, mellow drop, we dig it (and Seadog is the only spot on the Coast serving it).

Second, Brodie’s smiling face greeting folks from the inside compact space, all stoked and passionate about serving epic brews and third, said compact space bringing a little bit of fun back to our fave little beachside suburb.

What a treat.

Not only exceptional coffee though, you may also sample housemade Jun, a fermented beverage similar to kombucha but made with white tea instead of black, housemade ginger beer and cold-pressed juice from Brisbane legends, Harvest.

There are raw treats to nibble on and plenty of good vibes to soak up too.

Brodie, a third generation Gold Coaster, is also keen to help other young locals open businesses by doing something completely unique but also completely within his financial means and that friends, is something we can get behind. Stay tuned for more on that later.

Oh and here’s a sweet tale; the name Seadog came about when Brodie and his sis took a trip to Brunswick Heads and he asked her what he should name his new venture. She pointed to a building with a lifesaver that said Seadog, they laughed about how he would never call it such a thing and then he did, just to remember that moment.

That’s pretty much the epitome of a business built with a whole lot of heart if you ask us. Which you didn’t, but here we all are.

Get down there and give Seadog some love.

LOCATION: 50 James St, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 6am until 2pm daily

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

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